Reader reviews for MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country

This is a description of things anyone can do to become a catalyst for change and help reclaim democracy. The actions run the gamut, from things that take little effort to things that take a more considerable amount of effort.The first step is to connect with other people. Start a website or blog, and let people know that it exists. Speak out online. Email the President (and other politicians). Spread the word about online petitions. Vote, no matter what. Register voters in unlikely places. Get your office to vote. Maximize the vote on election day. Participate in a phone bank.Then there is the news media. Read more, watch TV news less. If you know that a piece of reporting is biased, don’t sit and fume, respond to it. Tell the media about uncovered events. Start a political book club. Try your hand at writing an op-ed piece. If you don’t like the media, make your own.In the area of politics, start with writing to Congress. Support clean elections. Volunteer for, or help run, a campaign. Donate money, or host a house party. Run for office, if only to force the incumbent to actually debate the issues. Investigate your state’s laws about initiating a constitutional amendment; if it’s possible, do it. Serve your community. Take action with your family. Host a political salon. Help others express their political views. If possible, get a socially responsible day job, or bank with or invest in groups that strengthen communities.This book is excellent. The individual essays are written by actual MoveOn members. Some of the actions may seem like common sense, but everyone needs occasional reminders. These actions can be done by anyone, regardless of age, income level, amount of available time or walk of life. Anyone who wants to get involved in this thing called democracy would do very well to start right here.
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Won't give you all the nuts-and-bolts specifics of the political process, but provides suggestions and inspiration for those who want to become involved. A good place to start for new activists.
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A how to book for activists. Mostly just rehashed 1960s idealism. Probably would be considered terribly out of date even such a short time later, because most efforts of this sort now spend a great deal of time talking about the Internet, social networking, and the use of texting and tweeting. Not a terribly compelling read, either.
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This book from political activist group MoveOn.org is organized into five sections: “The Power of Connecting,” “Every Vote Counts,” “The Many Faces of the Media,” “Political Action is Personal,” and “Personal Action is Political.” Each section contains stories from member contributors, followed by tips from MoveOn, for a total of 50 essays discussing various ways to get active in the democratic process. Many of the suggestions seem very obvious (i.e., sign a petition, speak to your representative) although there were some rather interesting ones like starting a political book club or salon. Overall, I think I’d recommend it more for teenagers/young adults or new activists than for anyone looking to go beyond the basics.
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